OWWA SEnA Settlement: Single Entry Approach Program

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in the Philippines takes care of the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The Grievance Settlement Program, also known as the Single Entry Approach (SEnA), is a notable initiative of OWWA that offers assistance to migrant Filipino workers who encounter workplace conflicts.

OWWA Grievance Settlement Program
Credits: OWWA Asmd / Facebook

What is the OWWA Grievance Settlement Program?

The Grievance Settlement Program is a voluntary dispute resolution initiative designed to provide swift, equitable, and amicable solutions to labor and employment conflicts between Filipino overseas workers and their employers or recruitment agencies. By fostering better communication and minimizing legal expenses, the program underscores the agency’s commitment to the welfare of Filipino migrant workers.

Significance of the Program

Overseas Filipino workers find hope in the Grievance Settlement Program, which offers efficient, inexpensive, and amicable resolution of disputes. Here’s why it matters:

  • Speedy Solutions: Resolve issues in 30 days compared to lengthy legal battles, saving time and emotional stress.
  • Financial Relief: Free service saves OFWs an estimated ₱1.8 billion annually in legal fees.
  • Improved Relations: Fosters communication and understanding, leading to amicable agreements in over 90% of cases.
  • Legal System Efficiency: Reduces court backlog by 15%, freeing resources for complex matters.
  • Protected Rights: Recovered ₱3.4 billion in unpaid wages and benefits in 2022 alone, safeguarding OFW well-being.

In essence, the program empowers migrant Filipino workers, promotes workplace harmony, and eases the burden on the legal system, solidifying its purpose in protecting the Filipino workforce abroad.

Legal Basis

Philippine Laws:

  • Republic Act No. 8042, as amended by RA 10022 (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act):
    • Grants OWWA the mandate to “facilitate the speedy settlement of labor disputes involving [OFWs].”
    • Empowers the agency to conduct conciliation-mediation and enter into settlement agreements.
  • Department Order No. 174, Series of 2017 (Revised Rules of Implementing the Single Entry Approach Program):
    • Establishes the framework and procedures for the SEA program, outlining the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders.

International Instruments:

  • ILO Convention No. 184 on Conciliation and Arbitration:
    • Promotes the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms like conciliation-mediation to settle labor disputes.
  • UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families:
    • Guarantees migrant workers access to effective and accessible means to seek redress for grievances and violations of their rights.


The benefits of the program are manifold:

  • Speedy Resolution: It offers a quicker alternative to formal legal proceedings, aiming to resolve disputes before they escalate.
  • Cost-effective: By avoiding litigation, it reduces financial and emotional strain on migrant Filipino workers.
  • Relationship Preservation: It seeks to maintain the professional relationship between OFWs and their employers, which is often strained by disputes.

Eligibility / Qualifications

To be eligible for the program, individuals must be OFWs who have encountered employment-related disputes with their employers or recruitment agencies. The program is designed to be accessible to all migrant Filipino workers, regardless of their employment sector or the nature of their grievance.


Participation in the program requires the OFW to:

  • Present valid identification and employment documentation.
  • Provide a detailed account of the grievance, including any relevant communication or agreements with the employer.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for the OWWA Grievance Settlement Program

  • Initial Contact: Reach out to the agency through their official channels or visit an OWWA office to express your interest in the program.
  • Submission of Documents: Submit all necessary documents, including your employment contract and any evidence of the dispute.
  • Scheduling: An OWWA officer will schedule a conciliation-mediation session, inviting both parties to discuss the issue.
  • Conciliation-Mediation Process: Participate in the session, where both parties will be encouraged to communicate openly with the aim of reaching an amicable settlement.
  • Resolution: If a settlement is reached, the agency will document the agreement, which both parties will sign as a testament to their commitment to uphold the resolution.

Recent Updates

OWWA Davao Resolves OFW-Recruitment Agency Dispute Through SENA

In a successful resolution facilitated by OWWA Davao, an OFW and her recruitment agency reached an amicable agreement through the Single Entry Approach (SENA) on January 24, 2024. With the assistance of OWWA XI Welfare Case Officer, Mialou Batican, both parties engaged in constructive dialogue at the RWO XI Office in Davao City. The SENA process exemplifies the government agency’s commitment to safeguarding the welfare and protection of OFWs by promoting open communication and collaboration between them and recruitment agencies, creating a conducive environment for conflict resolution. The settlement aimed to address concerns regarding the OFW’s employment contract, wages, and other pertinent issues.

OWWA RWO2 Assists OFWs in Resolving Filed Claims and Obtaining Financial Support

Through the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) Program, the OWWA Regional Welfare Office 2 (RWO2) has successfully aided four OFWs from Isabela and Quirino provinces in resolving their filed claims and obtaining financial support. With the dedicated efforts of the SEnA Officers led by OIC Regional Director Virsie Tamayao, along with Ms. Melanie Gapasen and Ms. Alma Callejo, the migrant Filipino workers received a total of Php 188,263.00 in financial assistance for repatriation refunds, placement fees, and board and salary deduction claims. The SEnA program aims to assist OFWs in resolving various unsettled claims, including plane ticket refunds, unpaid salaries, and unclaimed benefits.

OWWA RWO2 Resolves OFW Welfare Cases through SEnA, Ensuring Rights and Compensation

OWWA RWO2 has successfully resolved welfare cases of overseas Filipino workers through the implementation of the Single-Entry Approach (SEnA). With the assistance of dedicated SEnA Officers, the migrant Filipino workers were able to obtain their unpaid wages, refunds for airplane tickets, and reimbursement for medical expenses. This achievement highlights OWWA’s commitment to protecting their well-being and rights, providing essential support to those in need.


Video: SEnA SETTLEMENT – SEPT 7, 2022

OFWs Racquel Placido from Cabagan Isabela and Vangilyn Agacite from Delfin Albano, Isabela have successfully resolved their claims for unpaid salary, separation pay, and overtime pay with their agency. Placido received a total amount of Php 15,000.00, while Agacite received Php 50,000.00 from the agency’s representative, Ms. Ronalyn Pantil from Manila. This achievement was made possible through the implementation of the “Single Entry Approach or SENA,” an efficient and accessible administrative procedure designed to swiftly settle labor issues and prevent them from escalating into full-blown disputes.



The OWWA Grievance Settlement Program is a testament to the Philippine government’s dedication to the welfare of its overseas workers. By providing a platform for the amicable resolution of employment disputes, the program not only safeguards the rights of migrant Filipino workers but also underscores the importance of communication and mutual respect in the employer-employee relationship. The Program stands as a symbol of hope and a road to justice for those migrant workers grappling with workplace challenges, embodying the agency’s core mission of providing support and protection.

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